This Friday marks a very special day in the lives of our graduating year 12 students. Having spent more than 2/3 of their young lives at school, Friday sees them saying farewell to school (and the supportive structure, predictability and security it has provided for the past 13 years.) Leaving school can be a cause for both celebration and some sadness.

One certainty for all of our graduating students is that as they transition into this next stage of life, they will face major changes. Change can be exciting, scary and stressful – all at the same time. Another certainty is that uncertainty lies ahead for every student. Even those who think they know exactly what they want to do, don’t really know what that will look like. Waiting for news of school results, OP scores and higher education offers may cause some to feel quite stressed. For those not going onto further education, there’s the concern about getting paid work, apprenticeships or training opportunities.

Change is inherent to life and this change will be the first of many transitions into adulthood and all the responsibility that comes with that. As parents, we want our children’s lives to run smoothly, but that’s not always the best thing for them. If they are feeling stressed, we can remind them that they will find a way to cope with the new uncertainty in their lives and they will overcome the challenges. Those who’ve gone before them have and your children have the skills to do so. Change is exciting, necessary and something to be embraced.

Parents of graduating students face a period of significant change too. When our children are at school, we have a fair idea of where they are, who their friends are and what they’re up to. We usually have a fair amount of control over their lives, but as they move out into the wider world, we can have concerns about them and those who come into their lives. We worry about what lies ahead for them – with an uncertain economy and underemployment growing, we hope they’ll be able to make a living.

Parenting young adults can enhance a parent’s prayer life!  Worrying about them doesn’t achieve anything. A really good Bible verse to memorize and put into practice comes from Philippians 4:6  –  Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. (NLT)